A TAXI driver is said to have sexually assaulted his female customer on the drive home from an Oxford nightclub.

Ali Said, 36, denies the allegations against him, claiming that the woman had tried to get him to touch her as he drove back to Abingdon on October 14, 2018.

Opening the case to the jury at Oxford Crown Court on Monday, Isabel Delamere said: “All the surrounding events appear to be agreed. So, the timings are agreed, the car is agreed, the fact he was the driver is agreed, the route is agreed, the condition of the complainant as she left the club is agreed.

“So, it really amounts to this: was the sexual activity that took place in the taxi because, clearly, there was, was it as she described...in other words without her consent?”

The jury heard the complainant had gone out with friends to Thirst nightclub in Park End Street, Oxford, on the night of October 13.

At 1.15am the next morning she left the nightclub. Ms Delamere said: “She was drunk, she didn’t feel very well, and she just wanted to go home and so she left.”

The woman was said to have got into a white Prius minicab being driven by Said. Although he held a private hire licence, he was not allowed to pick up fares from the street.

“She told the driver she didn’t feel very well and he suggested she get into the front seat. He reclined that front seat, she got in and she fell asleep,” Ms Delamere told the jury.

The prosecutor claimed the woman woke to find Said touching her. She realised they had stopped but did not know where they were, jurors heard. The driver was said to have repeated the word ‘sex’ to her.

Ms Delamere said: “She shouted at him ‘get me to Abingdon’ and tried to sit up.” When they reached the town she withdrew money from a cash point and ‘threw’ £30 onto the seat in the car. She claimed to have approached a man in the street for help and the matter was reported to the police when she got home.

Jurors heard that Said was arrested and, when interviewed, claimed that his customer had initiated the sexual activity. He accused the woman of ‘telling lies’.

Said, of Union Street, Oxford, denies three counts of sexual assault. The trial continues.

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